Tuesday 5 September 2023

UK hydrogen hopes crash – plunges from second to eighth place

UK hydrogen hopes crash – plunges from second to eighth place

The UK has witnessed a decline in its hydrogen progress, sparking concerns among industry leaders.

The deterioration has seen the UK drop from second place to eighth place on the International Hydrogen Progress Index over two years, according to the Energy Networks Association (ENA).

The International Hydrogen Progress Index evaluates how ready major economies are to use hydrogen for cleaner energy.

Recent research by ENA’s gas members and Hydrogen UK has raised alarms, calling for the government to provide clearer guidance and a plan to regain lost ground.

Concerns stem from the lack of certainty surrounding the UK's future hydrogen plans, with industry experts emphasising the need for a clearer roadmap to harness the economic opportunities that hydrogen offers.

In 2021, the UK held a second-place position on the index, however, progress has slowed considerably since then, experts have warned.

Other countries, including the US, Germany, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands and France have outpaced the UK in the field of hydrogen adoption, according to the report.

In response to the decline in the UK's standing on the International Hydrogen Progress Index, industry experts and stakeholders have laid out a set of recommendations to address the challenges and regain lost momentum in the hydrogen sector.

Firstly, there is a call to streamline support for hydrogen production, making it more flexible and efficient.

Secondly, the identification and prompt support of strategic infrastructure investments are deemed crucial to establish a robust hydrogen network.

Moreover, clear guidance is sought to define hydrogen's role across key sectors, such as industry, power, transport, and heating, with a focus on making clean options more financially attractive compared to high-carbon alternatives.

Clare Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Hydrogen UK, said: "Policy delays and lack of clarity from government has slowed the progression of low carbon hydrogen projects. We are still waiting for the Energy Bill to be passed, which was introduced to Parliament over a year ago."

Silvia Simon, Head of Hydrogen, ENA, said: "The UK was streets ahead of the global competition in 2021 in the race to use hydrogen to help build a decarbonised energy system, but UK industry has been forced to watch other countries catch up and risk leaving us behind."

A spokesperson for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero told Energy Live News: "We are committed to boosting hydrogen as an important step towards reaching our net zero goals and have a clear ambition to increase hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

"The measures in the Energy Bill will be critical to develop the UK’s hydrogen economy further, by enabling the delivery of hydrogen business models and long-term funding arrangements for hydrogen. this will provide investors with the confidence to invest in the hydrogen sector, with the potential to create over 12,000 new jobs by 2030."

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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